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What kind of stories win awards?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by forever_town, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    This may be an odd time to post this because it's nowhere near the time to submit awards, but I'm wondering something.

    My predecessor at my shop was known for only sending in stories HE wrote for our Press Association's awards. When I came on board, I wanted to change that in a big way and I ended up sending in 16 entries with only two of them bearing my name. Of those two entries, the production manager had to talk me into putting my name on the entry I sent in for a page design award.

    However, all that effort resulted in only one award. Even my predecessor won two. I'd like to change that and bring more awards to the paper to get recognition for the hard work the people at my shop do.

    Before I go through and try to evaluate stories, what should I look for in terms of submissions besides grammar or ability to turn a phrase?
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Good stories. Look big-picture before you start evaluating grammar/phrase-turning.
  3. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Why not have your staff members pick out their own submissions? Then if you think there's something they missed, you can add that in as well.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I did that last time also. The story that won an award was one I picked that seemed to fly under everyone else's radar screen.
  5. Writer33

    Writer33 Member

    The truth is, you never know. It's so subjective. A couple of years ago, I submitted what I think is the best thing I've ever written. It got a third with a comment from the judge, "You are very talented." I was disappointed. But this year, I picked up two firsts for stories I know were inferior to that piece. Here, we choose our own, then the Exec, ME and I look them over and make suggestions. The more people involved, the better IMO.
  6. pallister

    pallister Guest

    For the most part, the whole awards process is a hug waste of time and energy. Editors should spend more time figuring out ways to praise their employees (and I wish I did a better job of this) than figurng out how to convince strangers to do the same.
  7. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The preceding post is dead-on.

    But if you must, heart-tugging emotional stories often win because they hold the interest of judges who may not care much about sports.
  8. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    We pick out our own stories, but our SE offers feedback if we are interested/ask.
    It's all so subjective that I would not worry too much about a "strategy." You can submit stuff that everyone in the banquet room knows is better than what won, but some guy in Nebraska thought differently and that's how it goes.
  9. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    For journalism awards in my area, the judges want creavitiy and originality. Basically, a new perspective on a story or anew set of ears and eyes. When the story is crafted, it should be original that creates a lot of buzz. Something that no one as thought of or seen before is what wins awards around here, so I have been advised.
  10. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    If you work for Gannett, anything to do with racial tension will win internal awards.
    Exposure of elected official and governmental employee shennanigans also seem to do very well.
    Any feature on someone overcoming long odds to become successful, such as one-armed quarterbacks, will almost automatically become finalists for something.
  11. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    There are indeed times when fascinating subject matter overcomes writing that isn't as special as you would expect from an award-winner.

    Surprised no one has said "Stories sent in by editors who sit on awards committees."
  12. pallister

    pallister Guest

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